Sphinx jpg

Green Day

By Ray O'Hanlon

Total global domination is a way's off yet and in all truth the Irish would take a pass anyway. But total global greening - that's another matter.

At the rate things are going the entire planet will be lit in green for March 17, 2030 - but for St. Patrick's Day 2013 the greening, though global, was confined to landmarks, and in some cases, entire towns.

Among those landmarks borrowing one of the forty shades was the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

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As Niall Gibbons, head of Tourism Ireland explained it, the idea of greening buildings worldwide really took off four years ago when the Sydney Opera House went "vert" to mark the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first Irish in Australia.

Of course, the idea of greening has been around for some years and owes much to the U.S. where the likes of the Chicago River and Empire State Building have been shaded green for March 17.

But they now have company and to name just a few companions: The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, the aforementioned Sydney Opera House, the Leaning (Greening?) Tower of Pisa, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the tower Tom Cruise ran down), Gorky Park in Moscow, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio, the London Eye, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Anfield soccer stadium in Liverpool and an entire town in Brittany, France.

The entire operation in global greening was part of Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening" initiative for St. Patrick's 2013.

Niall Gibbons himself was passing through New York on his way to Toronto and later Niagara Falls which were to be lit up - you guessed it!

"This has really captured imaginations around the world," said Gibbons in an interview at the Tourism Ireland offices in Manhattan.

And to think that green isn't even Ireland's official national color. That would be "St. Patrick's Blue."